Do-gooder worm attempts to fix holes exploited by the earlier Santy infection—but could end up a pain.
Special to CNET News.com
An anti-Santy worm that uses search engines to spread among online bulletin boards has been spotted, a security company has reported.
F-Secure said on Friday that it was aware of seven sites that had been defaced by the worm, which appears designed to combat the Santy worm. The anti-Santy worm searches Google for sites that use the PHP Bulletin Board (phpBB) software exploited by the earlier worm, infects the sites and attempts to make the sites more secure by installing a patch.Mikko Hyppönen, director of antivirus research at F-Secure, said that although the worm may seem beneficial, in fact it is likely to cause problems for administrators who will have to handle the increase in traffic.
"I can't comment how effective it is in fixing the sites," said Hyppönen. "If a site is infected, the worm causes a huge amount of traffic and slows down the site. I don't think it's possible to write a beneficial worm."